Italy - Hungary World Cup Final 1938

The football World Cup final in 1938 was played between Italy and Hungary on June 14 at the Stadio Comunale in Florence, Italy. It was the first time that the World Cup final was held outside of Europe. Hungary became the second team to win the World Cup and they came from behind to beat Italy 3 goals to 2. The last goal of the game is commonly regarded as one of the greatest goals in World Cup history. The First World War had a significant impact on the development of football in Hungary, as it did on many other European nations. Football competitions were suspended, clubs disbanded and international matches were canceled until 1923 when league competitions resumed. The resumption of league play led to a resurgence of interest in football, as well as the construction of new stadiums throughout the country.

1938 FIFA World Cup Basics

Italy - Hungary World Cup Final 1938 The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the fourth edition of the tournament. The tournament was held in Italy, the first time the tournament was held outside of South America, and the first time it was held in Europe. This tournament was the first to use the World Cup trophy, which had been commissioned in 1936. The host nation won the title, beating Hungary 4-2 in the final with a team that played only one match in the tournament with the same lineup. A couple of interesting notes about the tournament. First, England did not even qualify for the tournament, and the Netherlands did not play because of protests over FIFA’s decision to hold the tournament in Italy, where Mussolini’s fascist regime was well known for the oppression of political opposition.

Italy's road to the final

Italy’s road to the final of the World Cup in 1938 was a strange one. They did not qualify for the tournament and were not even supposed to be at the World Cup. The host nation Italy had been given a bye to the semi-final because they were the hosts. They were supposed to play Spain, who had won their first-round match and would have been the team to advance against Italy. But Spain refused the invitation to come to Italy and withdrew, so Italy was awarded a bye to the final without even playing a match, and Spain was forced to forfeit and sent home. Italy’s next opponent, Austria, also refused to play and were also forced to forfeit, so Italy advanced to the final by default. They had played no matches but were awarded the World Cup trophy. This would change in later years.

Hungary's road to the final

Hungary had finished as runners-up in both the 1932 and 1934 editions of the World Cup. They were favorites to win the 1938 tournament and had advanced all the way to the final without having to play a single match. In the first round, they were drawn to play, and defeat, the team they had defeated at the last two World Cups, Yugoslavia. In the semi-final, they were drawn against the hosts, Italy, who, as mentioned above, had been given a bye to the semi-final without having to play a match. This meant that Hungary was once again in the final, but this time they had to play a match. They were heavily favored to win and become the second team to win the World Cup.

The Game itself

In the first half, Hungary played well, but Italy was able to score first. They scored a second goal in the second half. Hungary was now trailing by two goals, and it looked like they might not be able to come back. But after the second goal, Hungary came together and played with determination. With less than 15 minutes left in the match, they were able to get a goal and cut the lead to 2-1. With less than 10 minutes left to play, Hungary scored again, this time tying the game at 2-2. With only seconds left in the match, Hungary was awarded a penalty kick. The penalty kick was taken, and the ball was kicked into the goal. The referee blew the whistle and signaled that the game was over. The whistle blew as the ball was going into the goal. The players, referee, and people watching the match became confused. The referee was holding the whistle in his hand, but the whistle had not blown. The game was over before the whistle had been blown.


In a game that has been described as one of the best played in the history of the World Cup, Hungary came from behind to beat Italy 3 goals to 2. The Hungarian team had only played one game in the tournament with the same lineup. They had defeated Yugoslavia in the first round and then drew with Italy in the semi-final. The game between Italy and Hungary is remembered for the final minute and for the amazing goal that tied the game and sent the game into extra time. The last-minute confusion was caused by the referee accidentally blowing his whistle as the ball was going into the goal.